Academics volunteer to mentor students in the European Creative and SMART Cities Challenge 2019

Four members of the Physics and Mathematics Department (Dr James Hind, Dr Laurence Shaw, Dr David Chappell and Dr Ian Whittaker) volunteered their time as mentors on the Global Office’s SMART cities project.

Four members of the Physics and Mathematics Department (Dr James Hind, Dr Laurence Shaw, Dr David Chappell and Dr Ian Whittaker) volunteered their time as mentors on the Global Office’s SMART cities project, accompanying roughly 100 students to one of Nottingham’s twin cities, Karlsruhe in Germany or Timisoara in Romania. This led to enhancing the NTU student experience by interacting with non-UK students and university campuses. Each student team produced and presented a poster comparing the cities, and considering what each city can bring to the other.

Following this, on the evening of 23rd May, each of the twelve student teams presented a poster about how universities and cities can work together, and considering what Nottingham can learn from the various cities visited. The posters were presented to Nottingham City Council, the Creative Quarter, NTU, and delegates from Karlsruhe and Timisoara in the Ballroom of the Council House. We're delighted to report that David Chappell’s group, who had travelled to Timisoara via Vienna, won the prize for best poster (see below for their winning entry) and Laurence Shaw’s group, who had travelled to Karlsruhe via Nijmegen, won the second prize.

Ian Whittaker and his team focused on building use and renovation – visiting Eotvos Lorand campus in Budapest as well as the University of West Timisoara. The team conclusion was that Nottingham could assist Timisoara with building renovation while Nottingham could learn a lot from the planning of green space in Timisoara. He also discussed producing 3D weather maps of Timisoara with a local physicist which could lead to a data sharing project and collaboration.

The local council in Karlsruhe were fantastic and showed Laurence and his team of students various SMART initiatives around the city, from electric docking stations to reduce noise and environmental impact or cargo ships passing through on the River Waal (Rhine), to cameras that use machine learning technologies to track footfall in various locations in the city centre whilst preserving personal privacy. This was a great opportunity for a diverse group of students to be able to work well together and use their own initiative to source interviews with local community and business leaders as well as the general public in order to enhance their project. This showcased how students are capable of rising to the challenge of an open brief and used their own interests within the spectrum of the brief in order to achieve their best work.

David Chappell’s group travelled to Timisoara via Vienna, looking at sustainable urban regeneration projects in both cities. His group managed to publicise the project by featuring in an article in the local press in Timisoara and were the proud winners of the Timisoara city tour treasure hunt, hosted by local students from the West University of Timisoara.

For photos from the trip, please visit this link.

Winning poster

Academics volunteer to mentor students in the European Creative and SMART Cities Challenge 2019

Published on 30 May 2019
  • Subject area: Sciences including sport sciences
  • Category: Current students; Research; School of Science and Technology

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